It had been a difficult year. The company I had worked for since 1998 was closing its doors. I had accepted a job as a secretary in the conference because I felt the Lord was calling me to be there, but it meant a cut in pay to a fraction of my former salary. It also meant that I had to work three jobs to keep my grandson Adam, who is 15 and lives with me, in the Adventist school system. At the time, nobody knew, but I was behind on tuition and didn’t know how I was going to pay it.
On this particular weekend, close to the end of the month, I had $17.25 in my savings accounts and another $25 in my checking account. I did have a $50 bill in my purse that was my “emergency” money to cover a tank of gas or some other needs.
It was on this weekend that we had guest speakers at our Hillside-O’Malley Church in Anchorage, Alaska. They are an inspiring couple who have a faith ministry in taking the gospel to others around the world. On Sabbath, Jim, the husband, gave his personal testimony; an incredible story how God can lead in everyone’s life such as He did in theirs. Sabbath evening, they talked about end times and how important our mission work was in taking the gospel to others. Jim and Carolyn are self-supporting evangelists, and they told us that 100 percent of the funds collected would go to a mission project. I was so moved with their mission appeal I took my last $50 out of my purse and put it in the offering.
On the way home after the meeting, Adam questioned me. “I saw you put that $50 in the offering. Isn’t that the last of our money for the month?” I explained to him what I had done, and he asked, “Do you think we are going to be OK?”
I answered with assurance, “We have food in the refrigerator, gas in the car—I know that God will provide and does provide.”
I didn’t give that offering another thought until Monday morning when the speaker and his wife came into my office. “You know that young man who helped us so much over the weekend?” they asked.
“Yes," I said, "That is Adam, my grandson.” He had helped them with the audio system and ran their PowerPoint presentations for them.
“We enjoyed working with Adam,” they continued. “We were so impressed with his politeness and the way he handled everything. We were wondering if we could do something for Adam.”
I thought to myself, OK, they would like to share a small gift as a token of their appreciation. Are they asking me for some suggestions?
Before I could respond, Jim asked me where Adam attended school and how much his tuition was at school. Puzzled, I told him the monthly tuition and finally, under Jim's prodding, I told him that I did work several jobs to pay for expenses, but that God had always provided our needs. He had opened doors for me to work the extra jobs.
Carolyn reached for her checkbook as she and Jim exchanged glances. I was speechless when Carolyn handed me a check for an amount greater than two months of tuition!
But God wasn’t finished yet. Jim asked for an envelope with Adam’s name on it. I did as he asked, as he reached in his pocket and pulled out some cash. He said “Here’s some spending money for Adam.” Later when Adam arrived and opened the envelope, he found a crisp, new $100 bill inside.
Many times in my life, I have tried to sacrifice to God when I had very little to give, but it is impossible to out-give when God is in charge! He multiplies so many times our meager offerings. Praise God for His love.